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Braden Lee Scott
FRQSC Postdoctoral Fellow, Bibliotheca HertzianaMax Planck Institute for Art History, Rome

Braden Lee Scott researches the reception of ancient buildings in and across early modern media. He received his Ph.D. in art history from McGill University with the dissertation “Antiquity Expanded: Ancient West Asian and North African Architecture in Early Modern Art, c. 1450-1570.” Scott was a 2022/23 Predoctoral Fellow at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and he is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Bibliotheca Hertziana—Max-Planck-Institut für Kunstgeschichte, working on a project that emphasises the movement of architectural materials and diplomats during the renovation of the Bethlehem Basilica between 1450 and 1482. Scott has concurrent interests in contemporary art, identity, and sexuality, and his book on Kent Monkman’s Miss Chief Trilogy is forthcoming from McGill-Queen’s University Press. His work has been supported by les Fonds de recherche du Québec—Société et Culture (FRQSC) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). 

Project: Burgundy in Bethlehem: Architectural Diplomacy in Fifteenth-Century Mamluk Syria


Burgundy in Bethlehem explores the transcultural mobility of architecture that unfolded during the fifteenth-century renovations to the Basilica of the Nativity. Around 1450, Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy, began orchestrating renovations to the ancient Roman basilica in the city of Bethlehem, which was in the province of Mamluk Syria. The basilica’s roof was in notable disrepair. While there remained an abundance of cedarwood in West Asia to repair ancient beams of other buildings, the Burgundians chose to export larch trees from the Alps. This book project mobilizes such material mobility through a theory of soft power to examine what was Burgundian architecture and visual culture in Mamluk Syria. Emphasizing the change, from cedar to larch wood, Scott advances a theory of “material occupancy,” which he defines as the translocation of architectural materials with the sole aim of expanding one world into another through microcosmic building sites.

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